With surprises sure to come, edmontonoilers.com has assembled a team of experts to help dissect the events of Friday’s opening round: Website Content Coordinator Ryan Dittrick, Director of Website & New Media Marc Ciampa and 630 CHED/Oilers Radio Network's very own Dan Tencer and Jack Michaels have boldly predicted the Top-30 picks.
Dittrick and Tencer both agree that Sarnia Sting winger Nail Yakupov will be Edmonton’s choice with the No. 1 overall pick, but Ciampa insists the Oilers will take a defenceman, nabbing Everett Silvertips sensation Ryan Murray with the top selection.
Michaels went with something a little more unusual. Yakupov is still slated to go No. 1, but not to the Oilers; Edmonton and the Toronto Maple Leafs appear to have orchestrated a blockbuster deal, giving the Oilers the Buds' pick at fifth overall instead.
Yakupov concluded the 2011-12 season having recorded 31 goals and 69 points, along with an impressive +15 rating in 42 games.
A year prior, he collected over 100 points -- beating Steven Stamkos' rookie-season output with the same team in 2006-07.
Murray strung together an impressive campaign, too. In 46 games, he scored nine goals and 31 points on a bad Silvertips team. Beyond that, he represented Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship and at the 2012 World Hockey Championship in Helsinski.
Beyond No. 1, all three forecasters have predicted an assortment of forwards and defenceman in the Top-10, in addition to an even greater discrepancy as the round progresses.
Which edmontonoilers.com expert has it down? Remember, all three participants aren't necessarily predicting what will happen on Friday. Instead, it's about acting as a GM and making each pick as the real-life managers would...or should!